Management and Supervision in Criminal Justice

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit I Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

1. Distinguish between the role of the police supervisor and leader of the police department. 1.1 Describe the four myths that may hinder someone’s effort to be a strengths-based leader. 1.2 Assess key signature strengths and how they relate to leadership. 1.3 Summarize police leadership and police supervision.

Reading Assignment Chapter 1: Strengths-Based Leadership

Unit Lesson This course will provide analysis of the six strengths necessary in strengths-based leadership. Chapter 1 discusses the first strength: character. This chapter reviews the four myths that can hinder a potential leader’s effort to become a strengths-based leader. In this unit, we will also analyze the question of supervision and/or leadership?

We will study the strengths movement, punitiveness and productivity at work, playing to strengths, and a strength equation. There are four myths that are discussed in this chapter that require personal reflection.

These myths should be dispelled as we move forward towards strengths-based leadership. The first myth is that as we grow, we change. In actuality, we see that we grow into who we really are. As we grow, we learn to clearly rely further on our key strengths as opposed to seeking out new ones (Whisenand & McCain, 2015). We develop our strengths that have become our key, core competencies.

The next myth is that we grow the most in areas where we are most weak. Logically thinking, if you are a strong checkers player and a weak chess player, placing an extraordinary amount of vigor into your chess game is unwise. We should invest our time and energy into our signature strengths where there are significant rewards. Therefore, we grow where we are strongest.

The third myth is that your team needs you to put aside your individual strengths. This is the most common myth. We always seem to believe that good collaboration is the basis for good police work. In reality, effective collaboration or a solid team must utilize different strengths brought together and used effectively.

When we can add our own signature strengths, the team will benefit. The fourth and final myth is that it takes other people to identify your strengths (Whisenand & McCain, 2015). The greatest individual to distinguish your strengths is obviously you. Others may or may not see your strengths. The truth is that you know your own strengths, and you can get the most out of any of them. Any activity that makes you feel strong is valuable in building your leadership strength. Leadership is very different from supervision. You can be a police supervisor and not effectively lead. You can be a police leader and not a supervisor. You can also be both a leader and a supervisor all at once.

Leadership and supervision complement each other; however, they are two distinctive systems of action. Leadership is not mystical and magical. Leadership concentrates on people. It is the process of influencing people so that they work with enthusiasm to achieve organizational goals (Whisenand & McCain, 2015). The skills to lead apply to a team, department, or entire organization. Leaders can also be formal or informal. Supervision is about coping with complex issues. It ensures correct practices and procedures are utilized throughout the organization.

Supervision takes on the responsibility to regulate the successful performance of specific activities. It involves the day-to-day responsibility to get the job done. Without solid supervision, complex issues can become disordered, and organizations can become disorderly.

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